The Ultimate Fighter 18 has barely begun filming and already there has been a major shakeup as former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will replace an injured Cat Zingano as a coach. YahooSports’ Kevin Iole first broke the news of the switch earlier this evening.
Zingano was apparently injured during a May 16 training session and the UFC made sure to keep news of the injury under wraps until today. UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was apparently not informed of the change before the cameras began rolling today at the UFC Training Center in Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White told YahooSports the move was made due to Tate’s experience as a fighter, believing it will make her a better coach than other fighters considered for the role. Said White:
“Miesha has the most experience,” White said. “She’d probably won the first two rounds of that fight with Cat and if it had gone to the cards, she’d probably have won by decision. The nice thing having Cat in there coaching against Ronda is that Cat was undefeated, and so we had this whole thing of two undefeated fighters facing off.”
“But with Miesha, she and Ronda already had a great fight and they have a history together. They don’t like each other. We’ll make it work. We always do. You know how I say every day when I wake up, I know some bad [expletive] is going to happen? Well, this was one of them, but we’re doing the best we can here.”
The move shakes up what was already going to be an engaging season of the UFC’s long-running reality series. TUF 18 will feature both men’s and women’s bantamweights living in the house together and battling it out for respective UFC contracts. The show will air on FOX’s premiering FOX Sports 1 channel this fall beginning September 4 and airing at 10PM on Wednesdays.